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Shooting a S16 Project on Panavision Elaine


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#1 Brandon Whiteside

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:51 PM

Hey everyone! I am a film student who is shooting a short film in a couple of weeks on a Super 16 Panavision Elaine.

I have never worked with film or a light meter. I am pretty competent in understanding the process, and I am not worried about royally screwing anything up or anything like that. I have made many films in the past, so it helps that I don't have to worry about making amateur mistakes. I have a demo at Panavision in Woodland Hills next week to go over how to operate and load the camera.

I really just wanted to get any tips or tricks that you could offer to a newcomer when it comes to shooting on film / using a light meter. If i were going to worry about anything, it would be properly metering and exposing. That being said, we are shooting on 7219.

Thanks ahead of the time for the tips!

Edited by Brandon Whiteside, 02 March 2010 - 09:52 PM.

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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 04:36 AM

Panavision are good people, you'll be in good hands there. Make sure you hire a very competent 1st AC, as it is a big package (20 some-odd cases) with some quirks. The 1st (and 2nd if possible) should be there at the prep. In fact, the prep is mainly for him/her - you won't be the one threading the camera, checking the gate, or changing a fuse, after all.

However, I think you may be a bit overconfident if you've never used a light meter before and still think you can't make an "amateur" mistake exposing film. Even experienced DPs make exposure mistakes occasionally, there are some legendary horror stories...

I would start by having your light meter (and your backup meter) calibrated at Quality Light Metric in LA. Then read Blain Brown's "Motion Picture and Video Lighting" book, especially the chapter on "The Zone System." I've found it to the best and simplest explanation of film exposure out there, but YMMV. Then go out and practice setting exposure with your light meter by taking 35mm film stills and looking at the prints and the negative. See what over and under-exposure looks like. See how far you can go, and where the image falls apart. Be confident, but don't be overconfident!

Best of luck!
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#3 Brandon Whiteside

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 09:49 AM

shooting 35 stills is a fantastic idea! I will do that!
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#4 John Holland

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 11:50 AM

I also wish you luck ! with one of the worse 16mm cameras ever made , hope it goes well .
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#5 Josh Hill

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 02:10 PM

Yes, I've heard Panavision practically GIVES the Elaine away to anyone who wants to shoot on it. And few do.
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#6 Brandon Whiteside

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 01:56 AM

Please elaborate...
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#7 Ian Cooper

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 03:07 AM

Please elaborate...


Perhaps...

<<clicky link>>

<<clicky link>>

<<clicky link>>
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#8 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 03:27 AM

It's not that bad! But it is a studio camera, whereas the Arri SR, 416, and Aaton XTR series are quick, lightweight field cameras.

The mags are displacement rather than coaxial and they are not quick-change. It takes a minute to change mags rather than seconds.

You have to swap the mag from the top to the back to go to handheld mode. You also have to remove the rod bracket to get the side handle in. Arri and Aaton are pretty much always in handheld mode with lightweight rods, just attach the grip and go.

The Elaine requires careful threading and inching, semi-frequent oiling, and the occasional fuse change. You don't really need to worry about those things with the Arri and Aaton cameras. Do not roll out, or roll after threading without inching the movement about 10 times, or you will put too much tension on the motor and blow a fuse.

The camera is front heavy with the mattebox and rod bracket in handheld mode, but well-balanced with just a prime lens and follow focus. Heavier than an SR but lighter than a Red.

Make sure you roll a safety after checking the gate as you will lose the slate clap on the next take if you don't. Learned that one the hard way. Again, not a problem with Arri or Aaton.
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#9 Brandon Whiteside

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 03:13 PM

Ok, thanks for the tips from everyone. Another question pertaining to the test 35mm still shots im going to be taking. what kodak still film matches up to 7207 the closest?
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#10 K Borowski

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 04:17 PM

BLUNTLY: There isn't one.


ECN-2 and C-41 are two different animals. I doubt you understand densitometry and photoshop enough to correlate one to the other.
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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 07:53 PM

BLUNTLY: There isn't one.


ECN-2 and C-41 are two different animals. I doubt you understand densitometry and photoshop enough to correlate one to the other.

To put it less *bluntly,* cine color neg is designed to be lower contrast than stills color neg, so you won't find a matching stock. The best you can do is find one with a similar ASA. At least you are planning to shoot daylight stock, 99% of stills color neg is daylight balanced. The whole point is just to practice exposure anyway, so don't get too carried away with little details like this. Just go out and shoot, shoot, shoot!
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#12 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 02:20 AM

Oops, reread your 1st post and realized you are shooting 7219 500T. As far as I know, there is only one tungsten stills stock and that is Fuji. But the basics are still the same.
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#13 Ian Cooper

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 03:48 AM

Oops, reread your 1st post and realized you are shooting 7219 500T. As far as I know, there is only one tungsten stills stock and that is Fuji. But the basics are still the same.



Both Kodak Ektachrome 64T and Fuji RTPII 64T have now been discontinued.
To the best of my knowledge there are no longer any tungsten balanced 'still' filmstocks.
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#14 Brandon Whiteside

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 10:21 AM

Interesting....thanks everyone!
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#15 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 03:49 AM

Both Kodak Ektachrome 64T and Fuji RTPII 64T have now been discontinued.
To the best of my knowledge there are no longer any tungsten balanced 'still' filmstocks.

Bummer, thanks for the heads up Ian. RTP was the stock I was thinking of.
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#16 Brandon Whiteside

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 08:41 PM

So today was my demo at Panavision. Man, I must say, with all the hating that was done on that camera, I was expecting it to fall apart when i lifted it up on my shoulder or something! That was a fantastic camera, and there are wonderful people there to support it. The threading is relatively simple, and doesn't seem like it is going to be a problem. I think that maybe some weren't taught by a Panavision technician who knows each step to make it happen. Anyways, someone asked me for pictures and I will post them later tonight.
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#17 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 08:54 PM

I think a lot of us come form the Aaton/Arri area where we don't really thread the camera as we're used to coax mags.
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#18 Brandon Whiteside

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 09:04 PM

I think a lot of us come form the Aaton/Arri area where we don't really thread the camera as we're used to coax mags.


Gotcha.
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#19 Brandon Whiteside

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 01:19 AM

And here are the photos! Let me know if the link doesn't work.

http://www.facebook....;id=78079613830
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